SALEM, Va. – Salem is billed as Virginia’s Championship City and the James I. Moyer Sports Complex has played a major role in that. Now, three decades after it originally opened, the complex is set to receive a multimillion-dollar renovation.
“Whenever you use a facility 7 days a week for about 10 months out of the year it shows wear,” said John Shaner, Salem’s Director of Parks and Recreation. “Our great reputation we have in Salem and hosting things correctly can only take you so far.”
Plans have been in the works for 4 years to renovate the 22-acre treasure that opened back in 1992.
The complex is named for James Irvine Moyer – a passionate Salem native that graduated Salem High School in 1923. He served as justice of the municipal court and as a judge of the Roanoke County Court and the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. Moyer is most notably remembered for his 16 years as Mayor of the Town of Salem from 1948 to 1964.
The prestigious complex is in use on average 230 days per calendar year. It also hosts multiple conference championships as well as the Women’s NCAA DII and DIII Softball Championships.
Aside from the sports aspect, Moyer presents a family-oriented atmosphere. That’s why the project is two-fold – to serve the citizens and boost tourism in the greater Blue Ridge.
“It strengthens us by having new product developed that we can present to the national audiences. It’s wonderful to have this new part of Salem coming online,” said Carey Harveycutter, Salem Director of Tourism.
The $27.5 million allocated for the renovation will improve parking, add a new playground and a skate park, as well as three new pickleball courts.
All of this is in an effort to keep Salem as a multi-faceted destination.
“To be known as a destination for efficiency, for well-run operation, and for a place where you do find excellent customer service,” said Rita McClenny, the President/CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation.
City leaders said they hope the project will be complete by September 2024 with the fields back in use by February of 2024.